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Roscoe Bartlett Notes Urgency to Reduce Oil Dependency at the first joint United States Air Force and Army Energy Forum

Public Policy

Congressman Bartlett is the Chairman, Tactical Air and Land Forces (TALF) Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and a member of its Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces. He is also a Member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and its Subcommittee on Energy and Environment; a member of the House Small Business Committee and its Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade.  Congressman Bartlett is a co-founder and Co-Chairman of the Defense Energy Security Caucus (DESC) as well as the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus.  He is also a member of the Oil and National Security Caucus.

In his presentation, Congressman Bartlett warned of threats to US economic and national security as well as geopolitical stability as a consequence of the inability of oil supplies to meet increases in demand, led by China, coupled with increasing control over oil production and prices by OPEC governments. He said that the correlation between oil price spikes and recessions in the United States after the U.S. peaked in conventional oil production in 1970 portends worldwide economic distress and the potential for conflict between nations.  He noted that the most recent recession in 2008-09 was the first to occur in the absence of a supply disruption or terrorist incident. He asked why major private oil companies are shifting from oil to natural gas production. He added that current U.S. oil prices adjusted for inflation are above levels reached before these previous recessions.

Congressman Bartlett said that conventional oil production plateaued in 2004.  He noted significant reductions in its forecast for world oil supplies and rapid declines in conventional oil production documented in its 2008 and 2010 World Energy Outlook reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA).  In the 2010 report, IEA concluded conventional oil production “never regains its all‐time peak of 70 [million barrels per day] mb/d reached in 2006.” In that report, IEA also noted that “the increasing share of OPEC contributes to the growing dominance of national oil companies; as a group, they account for all of the increase in global production between 2009 and 2035.”  Congressman Bartlett pointed out that production from fields yet to be developed and fields yet to be found accounted for more than half of forecast supplies by IEA and that total anticipated supplies were reduced from 106 mb/d in 2035 in the 2008 report down to 96 mb/d in 2030 in the 2010 report.

Congressman Bartlett singled out America’s Armed Forces and the Defense Department for leading efforts in the United States to reduce the threats from dependence upon oil for transportation.  He applauded General David H. Petraeus for his June 7, 2011 memorandum to forces in Afghanistan.  Gen. Petraeus asserted that “By reducing demand for fuel, we will improve operational capability, reduce risk to our forces, and ultimately strengthen our security.”

Congressman Bartlett also touted the creation of the bipartisan Defense Energy Security Caucus (DESC) launched on July 7, 2011. Rep. Bartlett is joined as a co-chair by fellow Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Jack Kingston (R-GA) and the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and other members: Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Randy Forbes (R-VA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Jay Inslee (D-WA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Mike Turner (R-OH) and Del. MadelleineBordallo(D-GU).

Among other facts in Rep. Bartlett’s presentation:

•   OPEC’s influence as a supplier in oil markets is growing.

•   Present yearly production consumes 1.5% of  OPEC reserves, 3.5% of FSU, and 7% of the rest of the world (ROW)
•   Extending this trend into the future with current reserve base increases OPEC’s reserve share to 80% by 2020 while ROW’s share reduces to less than 10% by 2015
•   The cost of new conventional oil production by ROW countries is $60-$80/bbl compared to  $20-$22/bbl for Mideast OPEC

•   China’s influence as a consumer in oil markets is growing.

•   Now the world’s 2nd largest economy, China’s GDP grew 10% while its oil demand grew 10.5% in 2010. China had 18 million (m) light vehicle sales in 2010 compared to 13.6 m in 2009 and 12 m for the US in 2010.  China accounted for 1/3 of total global oil demand growth in 2010.  China is on track to increase its oil imports from 50% in 2010 to 90% in 2030.

The forum was also live blogged:

“On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, we conducted a Bloggers Roundtable with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Energy, Dr. Kevin Geiss and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Army Energy & Sustainability, Mr. Richard Kidd to discuss the first ever Army & Air Force Energy Forum being held in Arlington, VA on July 19-20, 2011.  The discussion focused on the strategic importance and future direction of Army and Air Force energy. More information about the joint energy forum:

Joining us on the call were John Doyle, of 4GWar blog; Paul McLeary, of Defense Technology International, Tina Casey of Clean Technica; Phil Ewing, of DoDBuzz; Geoff Styles, of Energy Outlook; Sandra Erwin, of National Defense Magazine;  and Aaron Church, of Air Force Times.”
July 19, 2011
Fuel Efficiency To Factor In Future Programs: Lynn

By Dave Majumdar
“In addition to traditional performance parameters such as speed, range and payload, we will now consider system energy performance parameters in the requirements and acquisitions process,” deputy defense secretary William Lynn said during his speech. [DoD’s No. 2 official said June 19 at the U.S. Army & U.S. Air Force Energy Forum in Arlington, Va.]
… fuel costs would be taken into account through all phases of acquisition, including analysis of alternatives “for all major defense acquisitions.”
…Air Force undersecretary Erin Conaton echoed Lynn’s comments, but she added that it’s still a work in progress… she said. “If you can get it into standardized processes the department uses over and over again I think it becomes less associated with a particular leader.”
… Army undersecretary Joe Westphal added that, at present, his service doesn’t do well at taking fuel costs into account when building hardware.
Military installations to test power from hydrogen fuel cells
By ANDY MEDICI | Last Updated:July 19, 2011
The Defense Department will install 18 backup power systems operating on hydrogen fuel cells at eight military facilities as part of a joint project with the Energy Department.
The $6.6 million project will test how the fuel cells operate in real world conditions, according to an Energy Department announcement.
“Projects like these fuel cells systems will help reduce fossil fuel use and improve energy reliability at military installations across the country,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a Tuesday speech at an Army and Air Force energy forum in Arlington, Va.
[1 of the 8] • Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Pentagon Strategy Addresses Energy Challenges
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – Reducing demand, finding alternative energy sources and improving the energy security of military operations are among the goals of the Defense Department’s operational energy strategy, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.
Sharon E. Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, described the strategy during an Army and Air Force energy forum.
…[She said that] “Secretary Panetta, in his short time in office, has already cautioned us all that we need to have humility in predicting the shape or direction of future conflicts. … So energy is a part of that changing security environment, but it’s also part of that adaptation, and how we better prepare for this changing world and the possibility of strategic surprise.”
… Burke also emphasized the need for a responsible reduction in government spending, and the role the Defense Department’s operational energy strategy plays in that effort.
…“And the services aren’t waiting to do this — they’re doing [it],” she added.
…“This is, fundamentally, a readiness challenge,” she said…“If we’re successful at looking at it that way, … we’ll have a military that’s better able to respond to any challenge or any threat anywhere in the world.”
…Burke said, she hopes the changes brought forth by the new operational energy strategy will improve the nation’s overall energy readiness.
July 19, 2011
US Air Force: We Want To Use Biofuels
By Agence France-Presse
…Anxious to reduce its reliance on oil, the Air Force has approved the use of synthetic fuels for nearly all its aircraft and expects to get the green light for biofuels by the end of 2012, Undersecretary Erin Conaton said.
… [she said] “we need industry to be able to produce in the quantities we need at a cost-competitive price.”
Biofuels cost a prohibitive $35 a gallon, about 10 times the price of conventional jet fuel, or JP-8.
Conaton spoke as biofuels industry representatives and military officials gathered for an energy conference Tuesday in Washington where alternative fuels will feature high on the agenda.
…The biofuels tested on military aircraft, known as hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel, are derived from the camelina plant, animal fat and various waste oils.
The military and commercial airlines are also testing “alcohol-to-jet” fuel produced from cellulosic feedstock, including switch grass, grains and sugar.
[A-10 next for test of biofuels blend]
… The Air Force’s consumption of fuel is equivalent to a major commercial airline, or about 2.5 billion gallons a year.
Army, AF to Power Fight with Alt Fuels
July 20, 2011
American Forces Press Service|by Rob McIlvaine

ARLINGTON, Va. — More than 400 Soldiers, Airmen, industry partners and government staffers attended the first joint Army – Air Force Energy Forum July 19 to join the fight with DOD in reducing the need for imported oil.
… retired Senator John W. Warner, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, came to support the forum, as noticed by Under Secretary of the Army Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, who thanked him for coming.
.. Erin Conaton, under secretary of the Air Force [said that] “Congress is focused on energy and security, a number of retired flag and general officers are talking about why this is important, not as a global good, but from an operational perspective.
“And the leadership in the Department of Defense, both civilian and uniformed, are all kind of pushing behind this”
… Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, talked about the three categories of energy.
“In the Army, when we talk about energy, we sort of break it into three categories: Soldier power, basing power, and vehicle power,” Hammack said.
She noted how the Army has already reached 70 percent of non-tactical vehicles using alternative fuel, well on the way to 100 percent.
“In basing power, we have a lot of investments in our installations. We have announced a Net Zero initiative where we’re working with installations to drive them toward net zero energy, so they don’t use more energy than they’re able to produce on site,” Hammack said… We have 17 pilot installations that are going to try and get there by 2020.
…”We’re already seeing some of the returns on this investment and it’s enabling us to emerge much leaner, greener … lean green fighting machine,” Hammack said.
The chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, agreed.
Air Force, Army team up to explore ‘green’ solutions
by Master Sgt. Amaani Lyle
Air Force Public Affairs Agency


7/20/2011 – ARLINGTON, Va.  — Senior leaders from the Department of Defense, federal agencies, Air Force and Army discussed the strategic importance and way ahead for energy solutions during the Army-Air Force Energy Forum here July 19.

The two-day event enables hundreds of attendees to get a clearer perspective from military officials, industry experts and Congress about the needs and best practices of both service branches to reduce dependence on foreign sources of oil and increase domestic capabilities and supplies.

… Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Energy and Environment Terry Yonkers championed partnerships with industry and other agencies…”In the Air Force, we are aggressively pursuing efficiencies in our infrastructure by making smart investments in upgrading (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, lighting, insulation and bringing all new buildings (up to) LEEDs (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver compliant,” Yonkers said. “We’re seeking to add an additional 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity on our bases over the next few years and we’re aggressively pursuing the replacement of conventional vehicles with all electric vehicles.”

Air Force officials also have integrated technology to better leverage energy efficiency on bases.

“We’re ensuring greater installation security through ideas such as microgrids, smart meters and renewable energy sources linked together in a ‘system-of-systems’ approach,” Yonkers said.

On the operational side, Yonkers said plans are in place to reduce fuel demands by hundreds of thousands if not millions of gallons per year. The reductions, he explained, would be the result of developing domestic alternative fuel sources from such things as algae, camelina, animal fats and biomass.
… Energy forum plenary panel and breakout sessions covered topics ranging from installation energy management, alternative liquid fuels, cyber security and movement of energy into and throughout the U.S. Central Command theater of operations.

One Comment on "Roscoe Bartlett Notes Urgency to Reduce Oil Dependency at the first joint United States Air Force and Army Energy Forum"

  1. DC on Thu, 21st Jul 2011 11:58 pm 

    Here is a suggestion to help the US Air Farce.

    Stop flying gas-sucking jets 12000 miles in order to bomb people and install corporate-friendly puppet states so you can steal there resources. Leave the planes on the ground, or better yet, stop builing 300 million a pop wonder-planes.

    Youll be AMAZED how much fuel you save doing that, really.

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